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About the Photos

Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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The Imperial Twins: 1959

The Imperial Twins: 1959

My sister-in-law Gimi's maternal grandmother and her identical twin pose with a 1958 Imperial in this Kodacolor print from July 1959. That's all we know for sure, although Gimi believes this is in the Ozarks of Missouri. Other elements give rise to speculation: the right taillight assembly suggests a close encounter with some native plant life, perhaps on a narrow, winding road that brought us hither. The pointing finger I like to think indicates a voice exclaiming "Get those saddle shoes OFF the Imperial!" As for the other orphan footwear, I just want to say I'd rather not look under the Imperial. On a happier note, a 1955 Chevrolet. View full size.

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Uncle Tom McCahill!

Thanks, Dave, for reminding us of this fine writer. He was the reason I subscribed to Mechanix Illustrated, and "Mail to McCahill" was the first thing I turned to when a new issue arrived. He could really turn a vivid phrase.

Uncle Tom had a special place in my heart for disputing Ralph Nader's contention that the fun and handsome Corvairs were unsafe. If my 1965 Corvair, "Ol' Paint," was unsafe, it was due to its manic teenaged driver!

Uncle Tom

Thank you for reminding me of my old pal, Tom McCahill. As a young man intent on learning "everything" about automobiles, new and old, I turned to Roger Huntington for deep thinking and theory. But when it came to straight from the hip, no bull reporting, none but Uncle Tom was to be trusted. At least by me. If he said something wallowed in the turns or stopped like a mud flow, it was gospel.

I never learned it all, but those two gave me a decent base for my automobile knowledge.

Oh those wonderful tallights

Chrysler folks nicknamed those taillamps "Sparrow Strainers". These might be referred to as "Shrub Strainers" though.

[It was "Uncle" Tom McCahill, not Chrysler, who coined the term. - Dave]

Imperial Duty

When I was a kid, I worked summers and weekends at a motel whose owner drove a giant Imperial much like this one. Washing and waxing that boat was an all-Saturday job; but I still had to find time to mow the grass!

Missouri is a good bet

The Chevy in back has a 1959 Missouri license plate.

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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